Volume 18 Number 25 June 15, 2017

A Reason to Respond: Finding Agency Through the Arts

Shelley M. Griffin
Brock University, Canada

Jennifer Rowsell
Brock University, Canada

Kari-Lynn Winters
Brock University, Canada

Peter Vietgen
Brock University, Canada

Debra McLauchlan
Brock University, Canada

Glenys McQueen-Fuentes
Brock University, Canada

Citation: Griffin, S. M., Rowsell, J., Winters, K-L., Vietgen, P., McLauchlan, D., & McQueen-Fuentes, G. (2017). A reason to respond: Finding agency through the arts. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 18(25). Retrieved from http://www.ijea.org/v18n25/.


The arts have long been known as a central medium for nurturing artistic expression and aesthetic responses. Notions of arts-based teaching are combined with concepts of literacy and composition, focusing on the fact that these separate fields have the potential for relational meaning making. In this article, three arts-based, qualitative research inquiries are featured within a larger, one-year Community Arts Zone (CAZ) research project involving eight projects across four international sites. Findings from the three inquiries in music, visual arts, and drama highlight that responsive meaning making foregrounds aesthetics to create agentive learning environments. By providing students agency in their artistic expressions, there is the hopeful prospect of working in and across various modes to cultivate meaningful learning experiences.

Visual Abstract

This article is available in PDF format.


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